GPS Solutions

, Volume 15, Issue 1, pp 39–48 | Cite as

Assessment of ECMWF-derived tropospheric delay models within the EUREF Permanent Network

  • F. FundEmail author
  • L. Morel
  • A. Mocquet
  • J. Boehm
Original article


The Global Positioning System (GPS) observations from the EUREF Permanent Network (EPN) are routinely analyzed by the EPN analysis centers using a tropospheric delay modeling based on standard pressure values, the Niell Mapping Functions (NMF), a cutoff angle of 3° and down-weighting of low elevation observations. We investigate the impact on EPN station heights and Zenith Total Delay (ZTD) estimates when changing to improved models recommended in the updated 2003 International Earth Rotation and Reference Systems Service (IERS) Conventions, which are the Vienna Mapping Functions 1 (VMF1) and zenith hydrostatic delays derived from numerical weather models, or the empirical Global Mapping Functions (GMF) and the empirical Global Pressure and Temperature (GPT) model. A 1-year Global Positioning System (GPS) data set of 50 regionally distributed EPN/IGS (International GNSS Service) stations is processed. The GPS analysis with cutoff elevation angles of 3, 5, and 10° revealed that changing to the new recommended models introduces biases in station heights in the northern part of Europe by 2–3 mm if the cutoff is lower than 5°. However, since large weather changes at synoptic time scales are not accounted for in the empirical models, repeatability of height and ZTD time series are improved with the use of a priori Zenith Hydrostatic Delays (ZHDs) derived from numerical weather models and VMF1. With a cutoff angle of 3°, the repeatability of station heights in the northern part of Europe is improved by 3–4 mm.


GPS EUREF Permanent Network Troposphere Mapping function Cutoff angle 

List of Abbreviations


Doppler Orbit determination and Radiopositioning Integrated on Satellite


EUREF Permanent Network


Global Mapping Functions


Global Navigation Satellite System


Global Positioning System


Global Pressure and Temperature


International Earth rotation and Reference systems Service


International GNSS Service


International Terrestrial Reference Frame


Niell Mapping Functions


Standard Pressure and Temperature


Slant Total Delay


Very Long Base Interferometry


Vienna Mapping Functions 1


Vienna Zenith Hydrostatic Delay


Zenith Hydrostatic Delay


Zenith Total Delay


Zenith Wet Delay



We thank the IGS and the EUREF Permanent Network for providing GPS data. We also thank the staff of the Vienna University of Technology for providing data and R.W. King for his advice on the Gamit/GlobK v.10.34 software. We acknowledge the editors, two anonymous reviewers, and J. Nicolas for their constructive comments. F. Fund was financially supported by the “Ordre des Géomètres Expert” and the “Région des Pays de la Loire”.


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Laboratoire de Géomatique et de Géodésie (L2G)ESGT/CNAMLe MansFrance
  2. 2.Université de Nantes, Nantes Atlantique Université, CNRS, Laboratoire de Planétologie et Géodynamique, UMR 6112, UFR des Sciences et des TechniquesNantes Cedex 3France
  3. 3.Vienna University of TechnologyViennaAustria

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